Inside: Defined contact levels increase learning at practice


Growing the game worldwide
International Development Week brings Under-15 players together


with USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck PAGE 4


League Affiliation brings communities together PAGE 17 Success with BRAX Spirit Cups PAGE 18 Meet your USA Football Regional Manager PAGE 20

Meet a member: Mark Quick PAGE 28

Staying hydrated key to successful, safe season PAGE 30


Sharing ideas with others help them grow PAGE 21

Training videos help kick rust off for new season PAGE 32

Under-15 International Development Week gathers players, countries together PAGE 6 U.S. Men’s National Team brings home gold PAGE 8 Age-appropriate courses now available at PAGE 10

League Websites are a simple solution PAGE 23 Revamped Film Room and Drills Library at PAGE 24 Limiting contact at practice increases learning PAGE 25 Quick-hitter grid PAGE 26

Football’s popularity growing among Hispanics PAGE 33 College recruiting tips for players, parents PAGE 34 NFL FLAG now powered by USA Football PAGE 35 The Art of … Trap Blocking PAGE 36 What Football Taught Me: Archie Roberts PAGE 38 Football Facts, Stats & Figures PAGE 39

FieldTurf grants available with USA Football PAGE 12

What Football Taught My Son: Dan Hawkins PAGE 37

USA Football Magazine


Dear Readers, The wait is over. Throughout this past offseason, commissioners have taken part in USA Football State Forums, conducted league board meetings, pored over budget numbers and overseen registration days. Coaches have attended USA Football Coaching Schools and found additional ways to become better teachers, assembled 2011 playbooks and outlined practice schedules. Players have set record attendance numbers at USA Football Player Academies across the country, discovered their new USA Football membership perks and have let the power of their imaginations envision how exciting it will be to run back onto a field on gameday. Football is back. This USA Football Magazine issue covers more than two dozen stories to coincide with the season’s start, including: new coaching courses based on players’ age; videos on that talk about introducing contact to players in increments; ● happenings and insight gained from July’s NFL/USA Football Summit in Canton, Ohio, comprised of youth league commissioners and high school coaches from all 50 states; ● an expansion of’s Film Room and Drills Library for members; ● USA Football’s new responsibility to further strengthen NFL FLAG across the country; ● the art of trap blocking, according to Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure.
● ● new
Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK


Call or write your USA Football regional manager (Page 20) at any time to learn how he can help you and your league attain full potential. These eight men have the resources and experience that can help answer your questions. In addition, you’re a toll-free call (1-877-5-FOOTBALL) or a mouse click away ( from our member services department, located in Downtown Indianapolis. More coaches, commissioners and players have employed USA Football’s resources to prepare for this season than ever before. Let us know how we’re doing and what we can do better. This is an exciting time for all of us who cherish this game and its values. Have a great season. Sincerely, We want to hear your thoughts about USA Football Magazine. Write to us at today. Production: LUKE THORNHILL Editorial office: 292 VAUXHALL BRIDGE ROAD, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM Commercial: RICHARD NASH 0044 (0)20 7963 7517

Scott Hallenbeck USA Football Executive Director


USA Football Magazine


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Fifty-four American boys from 24 states took part in the USA Football Under-15 International Development Week in Canton, Ohio, joining fellow football players from Canada and Sweden.

Multi-national U-15 players inspired, united in football
By Steve Alic

A typical homework assignment during the first week of the school year is writing an essay about what you did on your summer vacation. For 128 boys from 24 states, Canada and Sweden, their reports will be anything but typical. They made football history.

USA Football’s Under-15 International Development Week from July 16-24 in Canton, Ohio, marked the first time that football players of this age group gathered from multiple countries to compete, sharpen football skills and celebrate the sport’s universal values. “It was wonderful, one of the best experiences of my life,” said Andreas

Rhodin, 14, of Sweden. “It was really cool to see all the Sweden kids and the Canada kids come together,” said Team USA’s JR Griffin, 15, of Dallas. “You can see the kids’ talent from the other countries – it was cool to see and to play with them. They’re solid.”


USA Football Magazine

USA Football board members Merril Hoge and Mark Meana, who have nearly 40 years of youth football coaching experience between them, were head coaches for the U.S. U-15 National Team and Development Team, respectively. Working on their staffs were 17 top youth and high school coaches spanning eight states and Washington, D.C. “The coaches are just great with the kids,” said Justin Faiferlick of Fort Dodge, Iowa, whose son, Michael, represented the United States. “They’re explaining things to them, taking the time to help them and make them better athletes. And they’re talking to them in the right way and explaining to them what they need to know to become better players, so it’s just great.” “I love the international flavor,” added Nita Cabusao of Carpentersville, Ill. Cabuso’s son, Jarryd, also played for Team USA. “The coaching is incredible, and there’s cultural exchange, which is great atop of the whole football experience.” The U.S. players were selected by USA Football through USA Football Player Academy skill evaluations and nominations submitted at National football federations of Canada and Sweden selected their rosters. The players took part in joint practices and 7-on-7 competitions, listened to guest speakers and competed in games at Canton’s legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame Field in Fawcett Stadium. All players and coaches resided on the Malone University campus in Canton. Adding to a week of wall-to-wall football fun and skill development were a private Cleveland Browns Stadium tour, a joint-practice at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training facility and a guest speaker appearance from USA Football board member, Super Bowl MVP and College Football Hall of Famer Desmond Howard.

USA Football board member Mark Meana of Vienna, Va., addresses coaches during International Development Week. Meana was head coach of the U.S. Development Team.

“The coaching is incredible, and there’s cultural exchange, which is great atop of the whole football experience.”
– Nita Cabusao

“It’s really neat to hear from somebody like Desmond,” said Canada TE-DE Neal Thind, 13, of Brampton, Ont. “It was very motivational – he knows what he’s talking about. “He’s a Super Bowl MVP and a Heisman Trophy winner, so it really inspires you. “People like him inspire other people to do stuff. He’s a brilliant athlete, and he’s 5-10 – height isn’t anything.” Considering Howard’s tall achievements in a diminutive frame, Sweden’s FB-LB William Hagstrom shrugged and said, “In football, everything is possible.”
USA Football Magazine


Click here to learn more about USA Football’s online coaching certification courses

The U.S. Men’s National Team capped its gold medal performance at the IFAF Senior World Championship with a 50-7 win over Canada.

Men’s National Team strikes gold
Team USA defends IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria
national championships. This title will remain just as special in his heart. “We didn’t hold anything back,” Tjeerdsma said. “We have only been together for three weeks. We are really proud of our players and the preparation they put in.” Led by Tjeerdsma, offensive coordinator Larry Kehres (Mount Union) and defensive coordinator Lou Tepper (former Illinois head coach), the 45-man U.S. roster defeated Australia (61-0), Germany (48-7) and

By Joe Frollo


he U.S. Men’s National Team earned the gold medal on July 16 at the IFAF Senior World Championship, beating Canada, 50-7. Team USA defended its 2007 title by outscoring four opponents, 176-21, earning head coach Mel Tjeerdsma a Gatorade bath, a wide-eyed smile and memories to last a lifetime. Tjeerdsma led Northwest Missouri State to three NCAA Division II

Mexico (17-7) to win Group A and advance to the championship game. Canada qualified by beating Austria, France and Japan. More than 20,000 fans watched the championship game in Vienna, Austria, as the U.S. scored 30 points in the second quarter to take a 37-7 lead into halftime. Former University of Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins was 13-of-21 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Former Southeast Missouri State running back Henry


USA Football Magazine

Harris led the U.S. with 105 rushing yards on 15 carries. Nate Kmic – the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher with 8,074 career yards at the University of Mount Union – was named tournament Most Valuable Player. Kmic finished with 26 receptions for 278 yards, 22 carries for 94 yards and five total touchdowns. This was the second time the U.S. has taken part in the tournament. Team USA also won the gold medal in 2007, beating Japan, 23-20, in double overtime during the championship game. Japan won the 1999 and 2003 tournaments before United States involvement. “There is no question the level of play outside the U.S. is very good,” Tjeerdsma said. “The teams we beat to win the gold played extremely hard every snap. I feel like the game internationally will continue to grow, and it is important for the U.S. to continue to put forth high-

Former University of Mount Union running back Nate Kmic was named tournament MVP after accounting for 372 yards and five total touchdowns.

“The level of play outside the U.S. is very good. The teams we beat to win the gold played extremely hard every snap.”
– Mel Tjeerdsma

quality teams. It’s given me a new perspective on this great game.” Team USA spent one week at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., to prepare for the tournament. With four games in eight days, the coaching staff relied on every member of the roster to contribute. The players gathered from across the country but bonded quickly to form a tight unit. “It was definitely a memory that will last a lifetime,” said tight end Mike Peterson, a Team USA captain who played for Tjeerdsma at Northwest Missouri State. “From Day 1 at camp through the gold medal game it was an unbelievable experience. We were a team of 45 captains, and we represented Team USA very well. “I was honored and privileged to be a captain, and also to lead the team out onto the field holding the American flag was an overwhelming experience.”

USA Football Magazine


Click here to learn more about USA Football’s online coaching certification courses.

Online courses bring PPDM to youth leagues across America
By Joe Frollo


eaching youth football is not one size fits all. Players at different ages need instruction catered to their comprehension levels and their physical abilities. USA Football this month is introducing a first for America’s 400,000 volunteer youth football coaches – online instructional courses based on player ages to best teach the sport at specific physical, technical and cognitive maturity levels. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. The non-profit organization is also the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. Approximately 3 million American children age

6-14 play organized tackle football, making it among the country’s most popular youth sports. Player age-appropriate coaching courses follow USA Football’s new Player Progression Development Model (PPDM), which directs youth coaches how to teach football skills and intricacies in a progression. Coaching courses based on a player’s age are available to USA Football coaching members, who reside in all 50 states, after completing a standard coaching course encompassing football fundamentals, concussion awareness and other player wellness material. Coaching courses designed by USA Football have been created for the following player age segments: ● Under-6 (flag football)

(tackle) (tackle) ● Under-12 (tackle) ● Under-14 (tackle) USA Football’s PPDM is woven into all its programming – more than 80 football developments events for coaches, players and commissioners and its online educational and skillstrengthening resources for coaches and players. Among USA Football’s 2011 events are 22 single-day coaching schools for youth coaches, in partnership with NFL teams. “Age-appropriate teaching makes a good coach better and fosters an even greater football experience for the millions of kids who love the sport,” said Nick Inzerello, USA Football director of football development.
● Under-8 ● Under-10


USA Football Magazine


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USA Football, FieldTurf offering grants for new playing surfaces
By Joe Frollo


ccess to premium field space is an ongoing challenge for the youth football community. To assist leagues looking to provide safe, high-quality playing surfaces, USA Football and FieldTurf have announced a multi-year partnership to provide $400,000 in grants to municipalities, school systems and tax-exempt youth leagues toward the purchase of a FieldTurf playing surface. USA Football will award up to eight Field Building Grants annually, each in the form of a $50,000 credit toward the purchase of a FieldTurf surface. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 29. Grants will be awarded based on merit and need. USA Football leads the development of the game, inspires participation and ensures a positive experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. In following its mission statement, USA Football is constantly finding new ways to improve America’s greatest game at the grassroots level. Since 2006, USA Football has awarded more than $4 million in new football equipment grants to approximately 2,000 youth and school-operated programs spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. By joining with FieldTurf, USA Football is continuing its

Click here for more about the USA Football/FieldTurf Field Building Grant Program

role as a leader in youth and amateur football. “USA Football is pleased to offer significant field building budget relief for leagues and programs that need it most through our

valued FieldTurf partnership,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. FieldTurf has installed thousands of football fields at the high school and municipal levels throughout the United States. In addition, more than 100 NCAA Division I football programs and 21 NFL teams use FieldTurf surfaces. “Our longstanding commitment toward providing the safest and highest quality football fields for organizations at every level coupled with USA Football’s dedication to the growth of youth football makes this newly formed partnership a major benefit for football organizations in America,” FieldTurf President Eric Daliere said.


USA Football Magazine

More than 125 youth league commissioners and high school football coaches spent two days in Canton, Ohio, at the NFL/USA Football Youth Summit. There they discussed best practices and shared ideas with colleagues from across the United States.

Youth Summit is meeting place for individuals and ideas
By Joe Frollo


USA Football Magazine


Photos courtesy Craig James

deas can’t grow in a vacuum. A good approach that doesn’t spread will only help a limited number of people for a short time. By bringing together groups from different backgrounds in an atmosphere of open communication, ideas can be discussed and dissected and eventually flourish. More than 125 youth football commissioners and high school coaches from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., met during July at the annual NFL/USA Football Youth Summit in Canton, Ohio. The two-day event included discussions on health and safety, sportsmanship, the importance of coaching, best practices for youth leagues and a variety of other subjects important to those

Jeff Bradford of New Braunfels, Texas.

who teach young athletes. Candid discussion and frank dialogue between the participants followed. People who arrived with open minds left with notebooks full of new approaches to take back home. “This has been fantastic,” said Brian Meekins of the Coastal Carolina United Youth Football

League in Shiloh, N.C. “I talked to people from around the country on what they do in terms of grants, funding for fields, fundraising … but then I also like the safety information, concussion awareness and everything available at” Tom Tocco of the Thumb Area (Mich.) Football League said he is open to anything when it comes to improvement. Whether it is fundraising, finding quality coaches or improving on things they already do, the TAFL will examine every possibility. “Meeting different people from different areas of the country, there is a wealth of ideas out there from people going through the same things we are and from those who are facing challenges we haven’t experienced yet,” Tocco said.

Former All-Pro safety challenges coaches to hold players responsible
By Joe Frollo

Troy Vincent


t’s Troy Vincent’s job to help NFL rookies adjust to the fame and attention that comes with being a professional athlete. Unfortunately, Vincent said, a growing sense of entitlement and promotion often has shaped an athlete’s attitude long before reaching him. USA Football Magazine caught up with the 15-year NFL veteran and current NFL vice president of active player development to discuss what youth coaches and parents can do to help young athletes adjust to the pressures and temptations they will face as they continue their football careers.

Why is it important to shape a player’s attitude early on? Whatever a kid is in high school, he will be in college. An athlete can learn how to act either by encouraging him to make the right decisions or letting him find out what happens when he makes the wrong ones. Decisions affect not only themselves but their families, teammates and schools. Why is attitude important to success? Good kids have a better chance to become good students. Good students understand time management and study habits. That,

in turn, makes them better athletes and gives them more opportunities because those qualities are needed just as much as talent to succeed in the NFL. What dangers can social media present? Every high school athlete is on Facebook and many younger players are, too. Kids should be encouraged to discuss their interests, post positive photos and talk about how they are working toward goals. They should not post anything embarrassing to themselves or others. They need to know: Facebook is forever.

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USA Football Magazine

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Ray Anderson Executive V.P. Football Operations National Football League Joe Browne Senior Advisor to the Commissioner National Football League

August again marks USA Football Month across the NFL
SA Football and its mission of youth and amateur football development will once again be emphasized across the NFL this August through youth football scrimmages at NFL venues, USA Football messages during network preseason telecasts, stadium video board promotion and NFL team websites. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. The Indianapolis-based non-profit hosts more than 80 football training events annually, offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. By the start of this football season, USA Football will have educated more than 70,000 youth football coaches across the country through its online coaching schools and 32 full-day coaching schools, 25 of which are conducted with NFL teams. USA Football Month includes the following throughout August: ● More than 100,000 NFL-team donated preseason game tickets will be distributed to youth players. ● A USA Football commemorative coin will be used during NFL preseason game coin flips, symbolizing the commitment that officials make to preserving the integrity of the game at all levels. ● USA Football messages promoting the sport’s fundamentals read on-air during national telecasts. ● On-field promotions through USA Football field stencils and end zone banners. ● In-stadium USA Football Month scoreboard video messages ● Youth football scrimmages in NFL stadiums on preseason game days. USA Football thanks the 3.1 million American youths who play football and the 450,000 coaches who teach this great game.

Tom Cove President and CEO SGMA International Alexia Gallagher Director, NFL Charities and Youth Football Fund National Football League Bob Gardner Executive Director National Federation of State High School Associations Roger Goodell Commissioner National Football League Merril Hoge NFL Alumnus and ESPN NFL Analyst Desmond Howard NFL Alumnus and ESPN College Football Analyst Mark Meana Chairman Fairfax County (Va.) Youth Football League Carl Peterson Chairman USA Football Grant Teaff Executive Director American Football Coaches Association


USA Football Magazine


League Affiliation brings football communities together
By Joe Frollo


outh leagues across the nation are signing up for USA Football League Affiliation. Commissioners, coaches, players and parents are enjoying the benefits that come with membership, ensuring that every member of their youth football community enjoys a positive experience with America’s favorite sport. As the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams, USA Football offers innovative coaching education and player development resources while uniting coaches, players and parents on specifically tailored web pages to exchange practice schedules, plays, game film, photos and fundraising information. “We selected USA Football League Affiliation because of its thorough certification program for our coaches and excellent drills library,” said Kettle Moraine (Wisc.) Junior Lasers Football vice president Peter Pulos. “We have opened a USA Football membership for all of our coaches and players. We believe that this will give them an advantage in safely executing football fundamentals and techniques while minimizing the risk of injuries. We also believe this will be a great tool in efficiently maximizing our time during practices.” Here are some of the benefits of USA Football League Affiliation:

Listen to commissioners and coaches from across the nation talk about the benefits of being a USA Football member.

Coaching education Every coach – head and assistant – receives USA Football online coaching education to create a better, safer game. By the start of this football season, USA Football will have educated more than 70,000 youth football coaches across the country through its online coaching schools and 32 full-day coaching schools, 25 of which are conducted with NFL teams. Member resources Along with access to all online courses and everything you need for game day, as a USA Football League Affiliation member, your league is eligible to receive subsidized background checks for all adult

volunteers and exclusive discounts on league-wide insurance. You also have access to USA Football’s League Operations Guide, Film Room and Drills Library as well as NFL Films content to help teach the sport. USA Football support At USA Football, our passion is great service. You can quickly find answers to frequently asked questions at or by calling a customer service representative. Whether you are looking for technical support or have an idea to share with us, someone is available every business day. To learn more about League Affiliation, visit:
USA Football Magazine



BRAX Spirit Cups are a fundraiser that sell themselves
By Jeff Fedotin


o raise money for his Southern Panthers, coach Travis Minnitt’s youth football team tried car washes and barbecues. But nothing has worked as well as BRAX Spirit Cups. “Out of all the fundraisers we have done, that was the best one,” said Minnitt, also a league administrator. “The cups really do sell themselves.” BRAX holds licenses with the NFL, MLB, more than 90 colleges and the five U.S. Military branches. So the 18-ounce plastic cups can feature the customer’s favorite team or support troops. Leagues receive a profit of $5 per pack of four cups. The players from Waco, Texas – about 150 kids age 5 to 12 – are raising funds to lessen the leaguewide registration fee that pays for uniforms, equipment and insurance. Another Panthers team – this one from O’Fallon, Ill. – also uses Spirit Cups to help pay for equipment, ensuring they wear the newest pads and helmets. “Safety is our No. 1 issue,” said Panthers head coach and TriCounty Junior Football Conference administrator Eddy Harkins. The tackle football team located 16 miles from St. Louis made nearly $14,000 in profit from BRAX cups in 2009. As he did two years ago, Harkins will give out a cup and order form to his

300 players and 100 cheerleaders upon equipment checkout. Panthers who sell the most BRAX cups are rewarded with t-shirts. Parents often use the cups at work, and the durable, 3D-graphic cups

The Southern Panthers in Waco, Texas, are selling BRAX Spirit Cups to help defer the cost for their uniforms, equipment and insurance.

catch the eyes of their co-workers. “It’s a very interesting cup,” Harkins said. Harkins’ wife and her family attended East Carolina University, so they bought several ECU cups as gifts. The most popular designs, however, are the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Illinois and Missouri. Because of their universal fan base, the Dallas Cowboys cups sold well, too. That team, of course, was also a hit for Minnitt’s Texasbased Panthers. “A lot of (people) are going to buy them just because of their favorite teams,” Minnitt said. “It is very easy to sell.”


USA Football Magazine


Zazzle lets leagues set up an online store
By Jeff Fedotin


he Sunshine State is not just for t-shirts and sandals. “Even though we’re in Florida, occasionally we do wear a tie,” joked Jerry Norton, founder and president of Ponte Vedra-based Junior Development League Football. Wearing those ties – emblazoned with his league’s football shield logo – Norton and his board members can promote their tackle football league at work and formal events. Along with hats, t-shirts, mouse pads and more, JDL Football receives

its products through, an online store that customizes youth football league gear with the specific names, colors and mascots. “It’s almost an unlimited category of merchandise,” Norton said. German Rodriguez, executive director of the San Antonio Sharks –

a team of 5- to 12-year-olds – also sells Zazzle t-shirts “to build the brand for my team.” Zazzle facilitates that process. After you provide the logo, Zazzle maintains the inventory. And 10 percent of every purchase goes back to the league or team.

USA Football Magazine


America’s favorite sport is powered by you – dedicated youth league commissioners, coaches, game officials, players, parents and volunteers. For each of you, there is a face and name to place in your football Rolodex: your USA Football Regional Manager. USA Football regional managers are football enthusiasts who are equipped and trained to work for you. Each has the experience needed to help you make your league or team even stronger with USA Football resources. Contact your USA Football regional manager to learn how you can kick off your free commissioner membership or ask about League affiliation, the nearest USA Football Coaching School, Player Academy or State Leadership Forum. Stay in touch with your regional manager, whether it is to share news about your league or team or to ask about member resources. You may also contact our office – through or by phone at (877) 5-FOOTBALL. Let us know how we can serve you better. Together, we’ll ensure that teamwork and leadership continue to serve as the laces binding our favorite game.
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Youth Summit brings people, ideas from across the nation
By Deno Campbell


he NFL/USA Football Youth Summit in Canton, Ohio, is an incredible event where USA Football and the NFL honor one high school coach from each state and youth football commissioners from around the country each July. For two days, the attendees take part in seminars focused on current issues within the game. Their stay also includes one evening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which has always been a huge attraction. For the past several years, I have helped with the selection of high school delegates. I truly enjoy reading the bios for coaches from across the country.

There have been some amazing candidates, and I wish we could choose more than one from each state. Once the coaches get to Canton, they can mingle with some of the best high school football minds in the nation. The NFL also invites several retired NFL players who are now high school coaches. My biggest treat is the session called DENO CAMPBELL “Trading Plays.” As a longtime high school coach, I get to work on the white board and share one or two of my favorite

defensive schemes with the group. The coaches then take turns on the board sharing their favorite plays. The sessions have been invaluable to me, and the coaches have a wonderful time. I always look forward to the summit and the time I get to spend with my brothers in the coaching fraternity. Deno Campbell is USA Football Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager, covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
USA Football Magazine


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League Website option is a simple solution
By Joe Frollo


hether you are an experienced Web designer or an Internet novice, USA Football’s League Websites are an easy-to-use solution to promote your league. The website builder has all the tools you will need to create a professional, personalized website. And with the drag and drop widgets, keeping it updated is simple. Leagues can create pages for: ● Teams and rosters, including cheerleading ● Schedules and standings ● Coaching and team resources ● Fundraising Leagues can create group emails, plug into social media sites and sell banner advertising. With a full feature document library, leagues also are able to incorporate PDFs, video, word documents and Excel files all with the click of a button. “I work with websites, but the widget elements and modules make this easy for anyone,” said Kent Gilliam, president of the Rowlett (Texas) Youth Athletic Association Eagles. “It took one night to set it all up – about four to five hours. “That included all the color schemes, logos, photos and copy. I’m confident that whoever takes this over from me will have no problem keeping it going.” There is no limit to the number of

The Rowlett Youth Athletic Association Eagles organize their teams through USA Football’s Website Solutions. Click on the image above to visit the site.

pages, menus, documents or storage a league can use. Leagues can transfer current URLs to the League Website for easy transition. Financial reporting options allow leagues to accept registration fees online, track birth certificates, organize volunteers, order uniforms and accept donations. “We have a page for each team, and we are adding a cheer element on there as well,” Gilliam said. “We are opening up parenting pages where they can upload photos

or talk about the games, and you can link back to the team pages. We’re eventually going to put the entire history of RYAA Eagles up there to have for all time.” For $9.95 per month, League Websites are available to any club or league, including those not already affiliated with USA Football. “The website is pretty, and everyone will notice that right away, but its usefulness is what makes it important,” Gilliam said. “It’s a winwin for leagues and families.”
USA Football Magazine



Drills Library, Film Room expand
By Joe Frollo


wo USA Football online resources have gotten a makeover for the new season. The Drills Library and Film Room are now broken down into ageappropriate categories, bringing them in line with USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model. Also included this year is information specific to flag football as well as the tackle game. Drills Library The Drills Library provides coaches with easy-to-learn, step-by-step 3-D animations to teach proper fundamentals on more than 150 practice drills broken down by position and age group.

Check out examples of what you’ll find in the USA Football Drills Library and Film Room.

Helpful summaries identify the required setup and number of players for each drill. Everything you need – from warmups to offense/defense to special teams – is included. Film Room The Film Room is a visual learning tool that features U.S. National

Team coaches setting up and executing proper techniques and drills, providing tips that will help coaches teach players their onfield responsibilities. Also included is instruction on speed and strength training that shows how to properly warm up and condition athletes for the coming season.

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Lower contact levels at practice can aid learning
By Joe Frollo


eaching football doesn’t have to be done at full speed. In fact, taking a slow, progressive approach often leads to better results in young athletes. USA Football recommends charting the contact level that youth football coaches use at practices, preparing drills that focus on instruction and safety. This approach will help players, coaches and parents know the team is committed to building confidence in its players and teaching the proper fundamentals. “By enforcing an intensity or contact level that a player is not ready for, you are risking the physical and mental well-being of that athlete,” said Nick Inzerello, USA Football director of football development. “Coaches should seek to create a strong foundation of skills in their players, instilling confidence and ensuring the well-being of their players.” USA Football breaks down drills into five progressive levels of contact – air, bags, wrap, thud and liveaction – assigning a point value of 0 (for air) to 4 (for live-action). Adding the point values for each drill allows coaches to gauge the level of contact for an entire practice. “Air” is defined as players running unopposed without bags, opposition or any contact at all. “Bags” means the activity is executed against a bag, shield or pad to allow for a soft-contact surface. A

A drill defined as “wrap” can include the initial contact used to tackle but players stopping when the desired outcome is achieved.

bag should first be used as a standalone item for token resistance. Older players can work with a fellow player or coach behind the bag or pad to add resistance. “Wrap” is a drill run at full speed until the moment of contact, at which time a side pre-determined by the coach is the winner, with the other participant giving way. All contact remains above the waist, and all players stay on their feet. For “thud,” the tempo is competitive with contact above the waist and all participants staying on their feet. There is no pre-determined winner, but coaches are encouraged

to use a quick whistle to end the drill. “Live-action” includes game simulation with players executing full tackles at a competitive pace. This is the only time players are taken to the ground. “Coaches should remember that drill instruction is best when used at the lower level of the scale to make sure players are using correct techniques before progressing to a more advanced level,” Inzerello said. “Use live-action sparingly and only when appropriate. If a player cannot execute proper tackle technique at Level 1 or 2, he or she certainly will not be able to do so at Level 4.”
USA Football Magazine



With members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., USA Football recently caught up with three members from coast to coast. Below are their straight ahead thoughts on football topics, including favorite coaches and memories


NAME: ORGANIZATION: RESIDENCE: Skill most needed to coach
Biggest challenge to coaching Favorite USA Football benefit Favorite NFL coach Biggest influence NFL player(s) you want your players to look up to? Favorite all-time player? More exciting: Long touchdown pass or big defensive stop? Favorite sports show? Favorite saying to players?

MARK ROSS Hopewell Football League Aliquippa, Pa.

CRAIG MAHONEY West Des Moines Little Pro League Des Moines, Iowa

VIC KUNZE Central Coast Youth Football League San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Being a good communicator Being able to reach the kids and finding what motivates them individually Practice planner and interactive playbook Currently it is Jim Harbaugh; all-time, Chuck Noll Father, Butch Ross Troy Polamalu and Walter Payton Reggie White Definitely a big defensive stop ESPN “College GameDay” “It’s about pride and passion”

Passion for the game and for coaching kids Identifying the interest and commitment of each of your players (and families) and coaching each kid accordingly


Keeping the attention of young players

The volume of information that Online coaching course and is provided to members practice planner Leslie Frazier Robert Mahoney, my dad Adrian Peterson John Randle A big stop defensively Jim Harbaugh, John Madden Players – they keep me motivated Peyton Manning John Elway, Drew Brees A big stop defensively; it can change a game ESPN Speed Channel “We are committed”

ESPN’s “30 for 30” “Every day is a school day”

USA Football offers resource-packed memberships to give coaches, game officials, youth league commissioners and players an edge. Learn more at


USA Football Magazine


Distributing the football
I-formation puts runner in best chance to succeed
By Larry Canard

Double wing allows for multiple options
By David Marco

The I-formation is one in which a tailback lines up behind a fullback on every snap. In it, the tailback becomes the primary ball-carrier, while the fullback is primarily a blocker – though they can reverse roles at times. There are several advantages to installing an I-formation offense at the youth level. To begin with, it places the primary ball-carrier back an extra yard or two from the line of scrimmage, which gives him better vision lines to the point of attack. The I also keeps the defense guessing as to which side of the formation a play will attack, creates an excellent setup for counters and bootlegs and allows the tailback to get to the edge quickly for sweep plays. The utilization of a fullback as a lead blocker can help create double-team blocks at the point of attack as well as clean up defensive penetration into the backfield, caused by missed assignments along the line of scrimmage. Play-action pass fakes with the deep back out of the I-formation will hold linebackers an extra second or two and also affords the quarterback a natural pocket to set up to pass the football – with each back protecting a side. The I-formation may be a dinosaur of an offense at the high school and college levels now, but it is still an excellent offense at youth level.

Too often, youth football coaches will have their best running backs carry the ball 20 to 35 times a game. As a youth football coach in general – and as a double-wing coach specifically – I do not like this approach. The chance for injury increases as a player gets worn down. Moreover, when the featured player gets hurt, teams tend to struggle as their other running backs are asked to carry a much greater load than they have been accustomed. In a playoff game against the top team in our division, the featured back got injured near the end of the first quarter. He returned but not at 100 percent. We held them to one first down for the rest of the game and won. It is much easier scheming your defense against one player you know will get the ball on 70 percent of the running plays. Even with a talented runner, variety benefits the team. The best back I ever coached rushed 109 times for 1,001 yards in 10 games with 12 TDs and a 9.2 average. The rest of the team ran 230 times for 1,390 yards and 23 TDs at 6.0 yards a try. By having a balanced attack, it made our whole team better and kept everyone healthy.
USA Football Magazine


Meet a USA Football Member

Mark Quick
California coach has watched former playersInfo for bio box go on to compete in college
By DaveName Chris Abderhalden Finn

Name Mark Quick Place of Residence Trabuco Canyon, Calif. USA Football Memberships Coaching League Santa Margarita Pop


Place of Residence Lenox, Mass. Warner Jr. Pee Wee Titans ark Quick of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., is a How long have you coach for the Santa Margarita Pop CommisUSA Football Memberships Coach, Warner Jr. Pee coached? 18 years sioner? Wee Titans and has been working with youth football players for 18 years. Full-time job USA Football Magazine County Youth Football AsLeague Berkshire recently caught up with District manager for Mark tosociation talk coaching, what it means to volunteer and USA Football. Sports Authority How long have you coached? Eight years as a What is yourfor Lee Youth Football and three years coach proudest moment as a coach? Knowing that High School. at Lee a kid is struggling – either because he’s not big or not athletic – and seeing him Would you recommend USA Football to succeedFull-time job Construction manager as a football player. other coaches? I always do because there’s always USA Football Why is youth football important to the clinics around that can benefit other coaches as development of the sport? well as bring coaches together into a community. It teaches organizational skills and discipline. I truly I’ve played against other gentlemen who are believe it helps our youth with school and prepares probably about 100 miles away from me, but we them for challenges in life. met each other at a USA Football clinic, so it was a way to bring us all together. How has USA Football membership benefitted you as a coach? What is your favorite part of coaching? It helped me connect with other coaches, to see I always enjoy seeing a team succeed and get better how they’re doing with situations that I might throughout the year. be dealing with, not only from an X’s and O’s I’ve been coaching youth football since 1993, standpoint but also from a parent standpoint even before I had children, and seeing the kids and/or working with the players. grow and get better – I have kids that are playing Division I football right now in college that I’m still What is your favorite USA Football in contact with. membership benefit? Being part of their lives is really fun, and seeing I have the freedom to go on the website and them succeed on the football field is great. research any information that I’m looking for, and I know it’s always there for me.


USA Football Magazine


Elements of a successful quarterback-center exchange
By Will Frasure


s the quarterback steps behind his center, plenty of opportunity stands in front of him. He could throw for a 70-yard touchdown, run through the defense or hand it off. Before that can happen, he has to receive the snap from the center. With proper technique, he can make sure each snap comes in securely and allow the play to happen. When the QB first steps up behind the line and scans the defense, he

should spread his feet shoulderwidth apart. He should bend into an athletic position, keep the back straight with his shoulders level and head up. After getting into the athletic stance, the quarterback

needs to extend both arms so they are in front of the hips. As he nears the exchange point, the heels of both hands should come together with the thumbs touching and passing hand on top. As he barks out cadences, the fingers are then extended and separated in anticipation of the quick snap. Lastly, he must make sure the ball is secure as he steps away from the center. Now the quarterback can create those spectacular plays – but only after he secures it from center.

Peace of mind we all need.
USA Football now offers League and Club Insurance.

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Learn more

USA Football Magazine



Hydration is a must for hot August practices
By Will Frasure



USA Football Magazine

Photo courtesy Shawn Hubbard Photography

eat waves rippling off the field. Bristling sun. Near 100-degree weather. All three factors play prominent roles as adolescent football players hit the field this August. With such hot weather, it is essential that proper hydration is maintained before, during and after practice. JohnEric Smith, a member of USA Football’s Football and Wellness Committee and a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, said it is just as important to plan before practice as it is to focus on hydration during it. “It can’t just be thought about during exercise, especially during August,” Smith said. “It needs to be focused on all day, every day.” Nearly 70 percent of athletes show up to practice or games without being properly hydrated, Smith said. One way to check hydration levels is to examine the color of an athlete’s urine before and after practice. If it is the color of lemonade, the player is properly hydrated. If it is darker, the player needs fluids. Monitoring thirst also is important. “These are reflective of where you are – not ways of preventing you from getting to that point,” Smith said. “By the time you feel thirsty or have urine darker than lemonade, you are already dehydrated.”

Monitoring weight loss from sweating is another way to fight dehydration. At a 2 percent dehydration loss – which would mean a three-pound loss for a 150-pound player – the player begins to decline in performance. A player shouldn’t lose any weight during their practice if he or she is properly hydrated. “Athletes should take the time on multiple occasions to obtain a lightly clothed body weight before and after practice and games,” Smith said. “The goal of the athlete should be to minimize declines in weight while making sure not to gain weight during practice from over-hydration.” Sports drinks are encouraged, Smith said. Gatorade and others provide sodium and carbohydrates

that water doesn’t, allowing for faster absorption. Becoming thirsty and feeling general discomfort are the first signs of dehydration. Flushed skin, general fatigue and muscle cramping can follow if dehydration continues. After practice, players should focus on refueling with carbohydrates and protein, but drinking fluids shouldn’t be forgotten. Hydration is important for safety and performance, Smith said. It also comes into play during the “heat” of actual games. “Most games are won or lost by inches,” Smith said. “Losing any performance abilities can be the winning or losing halfstep of a game.”


Coaches and parents need to remain hydrated, too
By Will Frasure


layers aren’t the only ones needing proper hydration during hot months. Coaches experience the same high temperatures as their players during practices. Most of the time, they do similar exercises as their players, such as throwing and running. This means they have to be just as cognizant about hydration as their players. “Coaches are similar to the athletes, although they don’t exercise at the same intensity as the players,” said JohnEric Smith, a member of

Coaches on the sidelines and families in the stands need to check their hydration levels during hot gamedays.

USA Football’s Football and Wellness Committee and a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. “They’re going to be sweating a lot,

so having a hydration plan is also a must for them.” For parents and family members attending games, it’s important to be aware of places they can replenish fluids lost while in the heat. Watching from a shady spot can help but it isn’t prevention, and young children running around while their older siblings play can lead to dehydration, too. “Just because you’re not active doesn’t mean you’re not losing fluids,” Smith said. “That’s what parents have to realize when they’re watching games in the heat.”

USA Football Magazine



Videos help officials freshen up as new season starts
By Joe Frollo


SA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, has created a series of officiating analysis videos on to further develop and prepare football officials on all levels for the 2011 season. The video series, titled Expert Analysis, was developed by college football and NFL game officials and is available to USA Football officiating members. USA Football members reside in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. USA Football’s Expert Analysis videos include audio instruction from leading officiating experts, including college referee Bill LeMonnier of Tinley Park, Ill., NFL umpire Tony Michalek of Evergreen, Ill., and college and high school game officials Dick Honig of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tom Rau of Grand Blanc, Mich. The 15-piece Expert Analysis library will expand through September leading into the 2011 football season. Approximately 3 million American children age 6-14 play organized youth tackle football, placing it among the country’s most popular youth sports. Football is the most popular high school sport of boys in the United States by nearly a 2-to-1 margin with more than 1 million student-athletes, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. “Officials can take what they see in these videos and use them within

Here is one example of USA Football’s Expert Analysis officiating videos, focusing on calls that affect player safety.

their crews,” said LeMonnier, a 17-year college referee who called

“If you see something done well, then you picture yourself doing it in your mind. You are mentally rehearsing the situation as if you are actually part of the play.”
– Bill LeMonnier, college football referee and USA Football Rules Committee editor

this past January’s BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon. “If you see something done well, then you picture yourself doing it in your mind, you are mentally rehearsing the situation as if you are actually part of the play.” Expert Analysis video covers the following topics: Determining offensive holding safety ● Positioning yourself to see the play ● Determining forward progress ● Determining a fumble ● Onside kick mechanics
● ● Player

In addition to Expert Analysis video, USA Football officiating members receive online officiating education courses, liability insurance, player health and safety information and more.


USA Football Magazine


Football a natural fit for Hispanic community
By Walter Doerschuk


ootball, perhaps better than any sport, mirrors Hispanic community values. “There is a prevailing sense of ‘family’ in football,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Muñoz. “You get that in the Hispanic community, and that’s what you want in a football team.” Hoby Pena, a USA Football member and commissioner of the NERF Football League in El Paso, Texas, sees young Hispanic fans embracing the game. “Our league is made up of 85 to 90 percent Hispanics, and they are showing a lot of interest,” Peña said. The NERF League for youths age 5 to 11, is a USA Football league affiliation member. Peña said USA Football has helped boost Hispanic involvement in football in general through online courses and Coaching Schools. “USA Football has contributed to that growth because coaches can learn what they need to know and join experienced people who put programs together,” he said. Bob Henriquez, head football coach at Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High School has three starting offensive linemen with Hispanic roots. Henriquez said the popularity is natural. Just as football was born here, these players are born here, too, growing up with the game. “The United States is the most powerful force of culture,” he said. “Whether it be music or entertainment or sports, everything

Hoby Pena is commissioner of the NERF Football League in El Paso, Texas. He said USA Football helps build interest and knowledge of the game through its online courses and Coaching Schools.

seems to get more exposure.” The NFL also is a big part of the attraction for Hispanics. In a recent study, more Hispanics listed the NFL as their favorite spectator sport than the No. 2 and No. 3 sports combined. New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is a notable name among 30 NFL players of Hispanic origins who were on 2010 rosters. Both of Sanchez’s parents are of Mexican ancestry. One of the quarterback’s great-grandfathers lived in Zacatecas, a town in Central Mexico. Sanchez, the fifth overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, led the Jets to the past two AFC Championship games. The first regular-season NFL game played outside the USA was in Mexico City, where Arizona beat San Francisco, 31-14, on Oct. 2,

2005. The game drew 103,467 fans to Estadio Azteca which set a singlegame attendance record at the time. Henriquez said the NFL has embraced Hispanic fans with public service announcements and football camps. Both Peña and Henriquez said finances can be a large obstacle to growth in Hispanic neighborhoods. Soccer and baseball have been mainstays in the Hispanic sports culture and incur small equipment costs. “In soccer, you can just throw the ball to kids, and they can go play,” Henriquez said. “That doesn’t translate to football.” Still, Peña thinks football can keep riding its momentum and gain on other sports. “I think it will get bigger and bigger,” he said.
USA Football Magazine



Recruiting process doesn’t have to be overwhelming
By Mary Kaminski


ollege recruitment can be overwhelming for parents and players, so it is important to understand the process and create a plan before diving into it. USA Football Magazine recently spoke with college recruiting expert Brent Williams of the National Collegiate Scouting Association, who recommends the following tips to parents and players. Start early Parents and teachers should identify a high school student-athlete’s academic weaknesses and address them early to ensure that a player will be eligible. To prepare athletically, Williams recommends attending a variety of college camps, starting as early as the summer before ninth grade. “Get them familiar with the process of going to camps, showcases and combines early so that down the road they will be comfortable and confident in those settings.” This is especially important for players who live in areas that do not receive a lot of exposure to college scouts. Widen the net “Not every school will need your position in your recruiting year, which may limit your options,” Williams said. Film and statistics should be accessible to as many as 50 to 100 schools, not just the programs that your child likes the most.

Brent Williams of the National Collegiate Scouting Association.

Ask the right questions Getting mail is only the first stage of the recruiting process. “You’re looking for a school trying to develop a relationship with the player,” Williams said. “When the coaches are looking at what makes them tick off the field – that’s recruiting.” Important questions parents should ask: What is your level of interest in my son? Where does my son fall on the list of your recruits? Are you going to make a committable offer? It may be difficult to hear negative answers, but parents and players need to know so there are no unrealistic expectations. Visit. Visit. Visit. Williams recommends visiting any school – from Division I to

NAIA – that has shown interest, whether they have offered a scholarship or not. “Some kids shut off communication with smaller schools when bigger opportunities arise. They should keep all options open,” he said. Don’t commit to a school that you have not visited and met the coaches face-to-face. You’ll know it’s right It is not always easy, but parents have to understand what school makes their child most comfortable. Be fair to the process. Once a decision is made, let the other schools know, so it opens the door for the schools and other players. “Once you know, make the decision, move on and be happy with it,” Williams said.


USA Football Magazine


NFL FLAG, USA Football offer premier flag football experience
By Dave Finn


FL FLAG and USA Football have joined forces.The country’s most recognizable youth flag football program is now powered by the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. NFL FLAG powered by USA Football serves communities in all 32 team markets and beyond, offering organized flag football to boys and girls age 5-17. The program has grown to more than 150,000 players nationwide. “The NFL FLAG program provides a means for youth flag football commissioners, coaches and players across the country to engage in USA Football and utilize its resources to grow the sport,” said Samantha Rapoport, USA Football’s senior manager for flag and women’s football development. NFL FLAG powered by USA Football allows players to learn every position on the field and strengthen their football fundamentals through USA Football’s advanced instructional resources. The program also incorporates key football values, such as teamwork and sportsmanship. The new collaboration between NFL FLAG and USA Football promotes physical fitness as part of NFL Play 60, the league’s youth health and fitness campaign, aimed at getting kids active for 60 minutes a day. NFL FLAG leagues receive NFL team-branded

jerseys and official NFL FLAG belts for each player as well as two NFL youth footballs for every 10 children registered. Full-season registration includes USA Football player membership, which delivers youth flag football resources to educate players and parents on the game’s fundamentals as well as player health and safety material. All coaches in the program have free access to USA Football’s certified flag football coaching course, spanning

topics from the sport’s fundamentals to concussion education. Coaches and players can also take advantage of USA Football’s Drills Library featuring video of more than 150 drills to view on a computer and conduct on the practice field. In upcoming months, NFL FLAG powered by USA Football coaches will receive the following USA Football member benefits: downloadable playbooks with more than 300 plays, access to online instructional video to coach every position and an online practice planner to run fun and efficient practices. Leagues and teams are eligible for NFL FLAG regional tournaments for 9- to 14-year-olds, events hosted in NFL cities each fall. Regional winners advance to the annual NFL FLAG National Tournament of Champions.
USA Football Magazine


By Will Frasure


or a defensive lineman, the view is almost too good to be true. The guard over him leaves him untouched, and he is free to run into the backfield. Turns out, it was. Before he can react, a charging lineman knocks him back. He’s been “trapped.” On the youth level, the trap is a favorite play for linemen. The element of surprise and the satisfaction they receive are why Tony Overpeck, a coach in the TEAM Youth Foundation in New Braunfels, Texas, and USA Football member, likes it. “The play is perceived as difficult,” Overpeck said. “Coaches think they need to have a really big, athletic kid to do it, but that’s not the case.” For the pulling guard, a quick first step off the snap is essential, Hall of Fame guard Jim DeLamielleure said how important those steps are. “You have to get off quick,” DeLamielleure said. Overpeck stresses that a lineman can’t telegraph his movement by leaning back in his stance. At the snap, his foot must go back and horizontal. As he nears the defensive lineman, he must make contact with him from the inside. If contact is made correctly, the player will block to the hole side and create a lane for the running back. It doesn’t matter how big a player is when trapping, DeLamiellure said. It’s all about getting low, driving the hips and maintaining leverage. Once the guard encounters the lineman, he must keep his feet pumping, called power steps by Overpeck. This is essential to create the hole. The element of surprise forces

Joe DeLamielleure (68) opened holes for many running backs during his 12-year NFL career, including fellow Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson.

The art of trap blocking

defensive ends to be cautious successfully when he sees his running when pass rushing, back downfield. Delamiellure said. Although people If they rush too far in the stands might up field during a trap, notice only the they will be knocked running back’s actions, out of the play by Overpeck knows how the guard. to acknowledge his “I loved them,” linemen for a job well DeLamielleure said. done. “When the tackle “I teach my went down to block lineman to aspire for the linebacker and greatness,” Overpeck the end would rush said. “If he does it Tony Overpeck up field, you could right, he’s having fun get in a good hit.” and he know he’s the The lineman knows he’s done it kid who made the play happen.”


USA Football Magazine


Presented by

Dan (right) and Cody Hawkins (center) were together at the University of Colorado as head coach and quarterback.

Dan Hawkins:

By Mary Kaminski


What is your fondest memory of his career? I guess in some respects how he handled the situation at Colorado (Dan being fired during Cody’s senior season). It showed the kind of man he is better than throwing any

USA Football Magazine


Photo courtesy University of Colorado

ormer University of Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins has always been around the game, but it never was forced upon him. Growing up, he played basketball, baseball and football. It wasn’t until junior high that he started developing as a football player. From youth football through high school, Hawkins’ teams went 60-0, but he learned that there is more to the game than winning. Cody established all major passing records during his career at Colorado from 2007-10, when he started 33 games. Cody currently plays professionally for the Stockholm (Sweden) Mean Machines and was the starting quarterback for the gold-medal winning U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria. His father,

Dan Hawkins, was Cody’s head coach at Colorado. Dan recently spoke with USA Football Magazine to discuss his son’s love for America’s favorite sport. What did you emphasize to Cody about the game as he developed? Overcoming adversity, being part of a team, learning to work hard, having a little grit and toughness to you and being committed. Football’s been a big deal. It’s been our life. But we’ve always tried to put everything in perspective.

touchdowns. He had to deal with a lot of stuff. He handled a tough situation with a lot of poise and grace. What do you most enjoy about watching your son play? He has a real love of life, but he also has a real, pure joy for football. It’s hard to watch him and not see that. He has such a great time, shown by the interactions with his teammates on the field and on the sidelines with coaches. What has football taught your son? It’s done everything. The most specific things: dealing with adversity, having goals, taking responsibility for himself and having high standards. It’s a fiber woven through him on and off the field.

Archie Roberts, heart surgeon
By Will Frasure


oise, the ability to work with teammates and play while also attending medical school at Case hand-eye coordination are essential attributes that Western Reserve University. Roberts was a “taxi squad” make a successful quarterback. emergency backup during his studies. For Archie Roberts, it also “That was incredible,” helped him thrive as a Roberts said. “To have heart surgeon. someone help out a kid from A renowned cardiologist Massachusetts in obtaining for more than 30 years after his dreams, it seemed straight his quarterback days were out of a storybook.” over, Roberts used the skills Roberts’ football career he learned playing football included a brief stint with to succeed in medicine. the Miami Dolphins before “There’s a pretty large he dedicated his life to crossover in both fields,” medicine. A stroke in 1997 Roberts said. forced Roberts to retire as a “You have to be steady cardiologist, so he began under pressure, skilled with the Living Heart Foundation your hands and you have to and started screening high be able to get along with all school and college athletes players. All of those things for heart problems. that you’re trained to do In 2004, he started during football, and they’re screening retired NFL players. very important for a Today, more than 2,000 cardiac surgeon.” former players have been Roberts dreamed of being helped by Roberts. both when he was young, His work has earned him and for a few years, he lived the Distinguished American those lofty goals. award from the National As a quarterback at Football Federation. “It puts a value on winning, Columbia University, he “It’s a natural thing for me but it requires good behavior balanced schoolwork and to want to give back and athletics during his time as a and sportsmanship. It’s all of provide for these players,” three-sport athlete. Roberts said. these intangible abilities of His play, both in baseball Looking back on his competing and performing under time as a player, Roberts and football, garnered interest from professional talks fondly of the lessons hard conditions under time teams, but Roberts didn’t football offers. constraints.” want to leave college early. “It puts a value on “That was something that – Archie Roberts winning, but it requires would take me away from good behavior and my goal I had set so long sportsmanship,” Roberts ago,” Roberts said. added. “It’s all of these intangible abilities of His dream became reality when Cleveland Browns competing and performing under hard conditions (and) owner Art Modell offered Roberts a chance to under time constraints.”


USA Football Magazine


Football Around the World

IFAF Member Nations




NORTH AMERICA Organized football in Japan and Mexico has been around for more than 75 years in each country. In all, 62 nations on six continents have national federations dedicated to football.

Three new federations recently joined the International Federation of American Football, representing the countries of Nigeria, El Salvador and Mongolia. Nigeria is the first African country to fully join IFAF. USA Football manages America’s national teams in the sport for all IFAF World Championships. In all, 62 countries on six continents have a national federation dedicated solely to American football. Here is the breakdown by continent:


Africa (1): Nigeria* Asia (6): India, Israel, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Thailand Australia (3): American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand Europe (32): Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine North America (11): Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States South America (7): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela * Morocco and Sierra Leone on the African continent also have partial IFAF membership

Get the facts on: Asthma
An estimated 5.6 million American school-age children (ages 5 to 17) have asthma, making it a leading chronic illness among children in the United States. Estimates indicate that black (9.4 percent) and Puerto Rican (15.6 percent) children have the highest prevalence rates. Here are some common asthma triggers you can control at games and practices: Secondhand smoke Smoke-free environments are safer for children with asthma pollution Check the pollution index and try to avoid areas with high industrial emissions or nearby automobile exhaust ● Stress High-pressure situations or emotional states can lead to hyperventilation ● Heat and humidity Conditions are worsened by humid, hot weather ● Change in weather A sudden drop in temperature, such as an approaching thunderstorm ● Sickness Children with colds, sinus infections and respiratory viruses have a higher chance of an asthma attack
● ● Air SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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